A Personal Finance Blog by a Twenty Something Filipina

Financial Diary #1: Last Week of March

So, this has been a thing, right? I keep reading it on Cosmo PH and read one on Helga’s blog. This also remind me of that time I budgeted $25 for a week last year. Honestly, when I was reading the articles on Cosmo, I was like “Wait, people actually spend this much??? Like, their whole salary????” And yes, I know that sounds pretty judgy. I’m working on it. But honestly, how much they spend in a week is how much I spend in a month or so. Or maybe I’m just really cheap. The latter sounds more plausible. 

Generally, I don’t really spend much money. Ish. I only flush out the big bucks for travelling or concerts. I do three to four major shopping hauls per year that doesn’t exceed 10K. What I do waste a looooot of money on is food. Yep. I eat fast food like nobody’s business. And I have the extra pounds to prove it. I usually spend at least PHP1200 per week on eating out on just the weekdays but I’m being more mindful and is working on losing weight so hopefully that won’t reflect on my expenses for the next couple of months.

I am living at home with my mom and brothers so I don’t really pay for any bills. I do have a Spotify Premium account (PHP129) and my post-paid plan (PHP499). I also have a life insurance plan that I deposit PHP1100 to every payday and I give back money to my parents and grandparents. These are my usual expenses, but my brothers can con convince me to treat them out twice a month that amounts to at least PHP2000.

Monthly Income: ~20K+ after taxes and the money I give back to the fam.

(Let me just cry at how small my salary is compared to those who did this post too, HA HA HA.)

Day 1 – Saturday

07:00 AM – I watched an episode of America’s Next Top Model five minutes after waking up - hey, the internet's not bad at this time! I had a breakfast of three pan de sal (bread roll) with cheese omelet that were leftovers from my family’s meal.

09:00 AM – I helped out with the chores before heading back up to my room. I finished another episode of ANTM while working on this blog. Side note: If I got a dollar every time someone says boss on this season, I could afford a roundtrip ticket to Japan.

11:00 AM – I cooked rice and fried this cheese coated chicken fillet thing from Magnolia for our lunch.

02:45 PM – I booked for a GrabShare (PHP79.50) using a 50% discount code to Alabang Town Center. I used my mom’s credit card but I’ll pay her back when we meet up later.

03:30 PM – I met up with my (extended) family and we had a (very) early dinner at Shakey’s. We ordered the 2017 package and I ate one serving of carbonara, fried chicken, two mozzarella sticks, and one slice of Texas Chicken BBQ pizza. We had lots of leftover that we took home. I paid part of the bill with my mom. (PHP500.00)

04:30 PM – We got a mini Mango Bravo cake from Conti’s for dessert and I paid third of the bill. (PHP200.00)

06:30 PM – We’re back home and I don’t want to see any more food for the day.

09:30 PM – Lights on since Earth Hour is over. I was on my laptop to edit photos and videos and was able to do this for three hours before dozing off.

Total: PHP779.50

Day 2 – Sunday

08:10 AM – I woke up and had two pan de sal and corned beef omelet for breakfast.

10:05 AM – My brother asked me for PHP20.00 for something related to his bike. I was in the living room since it was so hot in my room. I could smell the beef nilaga my mom is cooking and I was so tempted to have something to eat.

10:10 AM – I have no self-control. I made cheese sticks with my cousin. We already have cheese in the refrigerator and he has the wrappers needed. I only had two and we saved most of it for merienda later.

12:30 PM – I had a cup of rice and beef nilaga for lunch. Mom put corn in it and I am pleased as punch.

02:00 PM – Homygod. I can’t handle this heat.

04:00 PM – I cooked the remaining cheese sticks for our merienda.

06:30 PM – I had beef nilaga and rice for dinner. I spend a few hours after to work on my Taiwan photo book in the living room. Huge props to people who spend a lot of time editing their photos. This is exhausting.

09:30 PM – I had my face mask on and curse out the fact that it'll be Monday in a few hours. Ugh.

Total: PHP20.00

Day 3 – Monday

06:15 AM – I had rice and two meat patties for breakfast. Afterwards, I started getting ready for work.

07:55 AM – Guess who almost missed her stop? I woke up just as the bus was starting to get people off at my stop. I was sitting on the very back so I had to make my way out of the bus quickly. I also rode a tricycle (PHP8.00) before riding the air-conditioned bus (PHP35.00) to work. 

11:30 AM – I was already hungry so I went up to the office cafeteria to get lunch. I got chicken adobo and rice (PHP55.00) along with one banana (PHP10.00).

04:40 PM – I felt a pang of hunger so I grabbed a Skyflakes from my office locker and ate it. Today is a slow, work day. I want another day that I’ll be so busy coding I won’t even realize that I can clock out already. I don’t want that every day, but it hasn’t happen for a few weeks now.

06:00 PM – I clocked off and withdrew a few thousand bucks from my ATM. Mom is gonna get an X-Ray examination and Dad won’t be able to send money right now. It’ll probably be returned to me so I won’t count it here. I also paid Dad PHP2000.00 for my iPhone, leaving a balance of PHP7000.00. It was originally mom’s but I got it off their hand for a really affordable price when she changed phone. I took an air-conditioned bus (PHP35.00) and a jeepney (PHP8.00) ride home.

08:00 PM – I had rice and sweet and sour meat patties that my mom contorted for dinner.

08:30 PM – Holy fries. I can’t believe the nerve of some people to act so high and mighty because they got ‘richer’. Money sure can buy lots of things; too bad basic human decency isn’t one of them.

09:30 PM – I finished ANTM and yasss, my bet finally won the show!! I’ll spend the next few minutes editing some photos and putting up a new post for my main blog.

11:00 PM – GOOD NIGHT!

Total: PHP151.00 + PHP2000.00 for my phone

Day 4 – Tuesday

06:40 AM – I woke up late. I rushed though getting ready and had sinangag and fried egg for breakfast. I took a tricycle ride (PHP8.00) and an ordinary bus ride (PHP28.00) to work.

08:05 AM – I made it in time! Ish. Oh well. I’m still one of like ten people in the office that works the morning shift. It’s not a busy morning.

10:30 AM – I’m hungry. I went down to visit Mini-Stop and got myself a La Paz Batchoy cup noodles (PHP36.00), spoon and fork (PHP2.50), and Cheezy (PHP26.00). It’s ridiculous how there’s no more of that mini-spork in the cup noodles. How are we supposed to eat that on-the-go? Good thing Mini-Stop sells spoon and fork (and spork). I should also note that I cannot really give up junk food. I’m eating it way less now but sometimes, the cravings are intense. I would most probably give up everything sweet before giving up junk food – which is bad. I filled up the cup noodles with hot water from the pantry and ate it at my desk.

12:15 PM – I’m not yet hungry but the lunch servings at the office cafeteria has a time set so I already bought my lunch. Today, it’s rice and beef salpicao (PHP60.00) for me. I also got myself a cheese puto (PHP10.00) and a banana (PHP10.00). I would’ve not bought the puto if I saw that there were available bananas beforehand. 

12:45 PM – I’m feeling a bit light-headed so I ate my banana and took a biogesic that I have in my bag.

02:30 PM – I ate the rest of my lunch at my desk and submit my timesheet at work. I’ll get paid in two days. Yessss.

06:05 PM – I took another bus (PHP28.00) and jeepney ride (PHP8.00) home.

07:30 PM – I had rice and chicken tiim for dinner. I managed to arrive home in time to eat with my family.

08:30 PM – I found two ten-pesos coin in my wallet and put it in my piggy bank. I’ve been doing this from the start of the year. I think I made over five hundred with just collecting them.

09:30 PM – I wasted who knows how long on social media. I’ve been feeling low lately, thus I’m unmotivated to do anything. Oh well. I’ll try to sleep early and look forward to tomorrow’s free dinner at Sambojokin courtesy of our project. It’s my favorite buffet restaurant and the project treats us once or twice a year to eat out here for a job well done.

Total: PHP216.50

Day 5 – Wednesday 

07:00 AM – I intended to wake up late since we have a team dinner after my shift later. I had a breakfast of half a cup of rice and pork tocino.

08:00 AM – I took the usual tricycle (PHP8.00) and ordinary bus (PHP28.00) routine to work.

9:30 AM – I got the munchies and snacked on the Cheezy I bought yesterday. I was shamelessly listening to Selena Gomez’ discography while working. For the first time, I didn’t listen to Ed Sheeran’s new album since it got out.

12:30 PM – I ate the lunch I bought from the cafeteria. It was rice and this beef with mixed veggies dish (PHP60.00) and a banana (PHP10.00). For the second time ever, I didn’t like the food that I bought from the cafeteria. The whole thing tastes like broccoli and not beef. I was only able to finish half of it. The other dish that I didn’t like was this fish fillet I bought months back.

04:00 PM – I asked my boss if I can take a sick day tomorrow or on Friday because I have to go to the doctor. She agreed to let me off on Friday.

05:00 PM – I found out that I’ll be transferred to a new project after two weeks. Kinda bittersweet. I love the new opportunities and challenges the new project will bring, but I will miss my current team. And, I’ll definitely miss the super flexi time and food trips in my current project. All in our team will be moving to a new project soon, but it just so happen that I was first to be deployed. 

05:45 PM – We took a GrabCar to SM Megamall for our Sambokojin (!!!) dinner. One of the team leads payed for the fare. Traffic in EDSA is intense. It took us forty-five minutes to get from Cybergate to Megamall!! Side Note: Sambokojin > Yakimix!

06:45 PM – Dinner!!! It’s silly but my favorite food from Sambokojin is actually this bacon wrapped around a thick slice of cheese then we cook it. The cheese ended up melted and I love it. I can do it at home but cheese and bacon are expensive hehe. I also ate a lot of katsus (especially cheese and pork katsu), beef of different kinds, japchae, Sambojokin’s special rice (forgot what it was called), ice cream, and crème brulee.

09:15 PM – Going home. I took an airconditioned bus (PHP38.00) and jeepney (PHP8.00) rides home. I almost didn’t make it home since I didn’t check how much money I have in my wallet. I have exactly PHP51.00 in my wallet when I got in the bus.

10:00 PM – Mom left me some pizza at the fridge. I’ll eat it sometime tomorrow. I spend an hour (or two) on social media and watching random videos before sleeping.

Total: PHP152.00

Day 6 – Thursday

07:00 AM – I woke up late. Had a breakfast of sinangag and egg and ham omelet. I didn't have any coins so I asked mom for enough to pay my tricycle ride. Took a bus (PHP28.00) to work.

09:00 AM – My life is usually boring. Kudos if you’re still reading this. Haha.

12:45 PM – Well, the cafeteria choices are already pretty limited. I went out of the office and bought beef pepper steak with rice (PHP49.00) and medium fries (PHP55.00) from McDonald’s and ate it at my desk.

03:30 PM – I was supposed to have a one-one-one meeting with my manager today, but it has been moved next week. Whew. I hope my vacation leaves for next month won’t be affected because I have to change project.

05:50 PM – I started cleaning out my desk since I won’t be going to work tomorrow. Took the usual bus and jeep combo home. (PHP43.00)

07:30 PM – I had rice and chicken for dinner.

08:00 PM – I have the support phone with me since I am on-call this weekend. I take advance of the fast internet and downloaded some movies. In the meantime, I spent some time editing photos on my laptop until I get sleepy. I’m thinking of inviting my friends for a hang-out next week. I don’t have much social interactions this week – which is normal for an introvert like me. My friends and I get together once or twice every two months, or we won’t see each other for four months until we go to a trip together. I chatted up with my best friend on Facebook instead.

11:30 PM – Good night. Last day for this diary tomorrow. I’m excited to see how much I’ll be wasting spending tomorrow.

Total: PHP175.00

Day 7 - Friday

08:00 AM – I had a breakfast of two pandesal and ham and cheese. We left early to go to my and mom's check-up. My youngest brother is also with us.

09:00 AM – I decided to go to Asian this time, and not Alabang Med. I was checked with two specialist on a problem I've been having. It's all paid by my medial insurance which is provided with my current company. I saved more than a thousand pesos for this.

11:45 PM – We're pretty hungry and I still have to do a test later on so we ate at the hospital. The food was surprisingly good but it's also pretty pricy. We only got one dish and just shared it. Mom paid for lunch.

01:00 PM – My mom and younger brother were feeling a bit out of it so they slept on the waiting area while I get a laboratory exam. It costs around PHP2700.00, but it's also covered by my medical insurance. Thank God!

01:45 PM – We headed to Festival for mom's check-up this time. I paid for the parking ticket from the hospital stay. (PHP80.00)

02:15 PM – My brother and I are still a bit hungry so we grabbed some food while mom has her check-up. I bought us a four-cheese whopper meal (PHP199.00) from Burger King that we shared.

03:35 PM – I was dragged to H & M by my mom. They had lots of sale going-on. I stayed on the PHP300 pesos racks and ended up buying this black dress (PHP300.00) that I'll be wearing to a company party next week.

04:30 PM – We moved to ATC to get some cake from Bannapple since they're on a 50% sale. We got six slices of Banoffee pie which mom paid for. I also paid for my Globe bills. (PHP300.00)

05:30 PM – We met up with my other brother before getting an early dinner. I dragged us to Silantro's - which is my favorite Fil-Mex resto! We got two nachos and some beef and chicken skewers to share. I paid for all of it. (PHP713.47)

06:30 PM – We dropped by Mercury Drug to buy our meds for getting home. I paid for mine. (PHP300.00)

08:30 PM – Since I got paid yesterday, I already gave money to my parents and grandparents. I also paid PHP2900 for my debt repayment and PHP129 for my Spotify account. I have yet to transfer money to my life insurance account. I'll do that next week.

09:30 PM – I'm feeling under the weather so I slept early.

Total: PHP2021.47 + PHP2900 for my debt repayment.

Weekly Total
PHP3086.47 + PHP429.00 (bills) + PHP4900.00 (debt payment; PHP21,300 left for this year)

I usually count the lunch/dinner that I treat my family to on my entertainment fund. It's rare that I treat them twice a week. I usually do it twice a month. I probably won't do that next week. If I remove that from my weekly total, I have only spent PHP1673.00 which is still pretty low compared to my spending the fast few months. If I separate that to categories, it would be PHP390.50 for transportation, PHP582.50 for food, PHP300.00 for clothes, PHP300.00 for medicine, and PHP100.00 for others. How can I do better? Lol, stop treating my family to food. I think I did a pretty good job this week. *pats self on the back*

While I don't think I'll be doing this detailed of a financial diary every week, I will still try. Maybe a really detailed diary like this one every other week and a paragraphed one in between. This entry made me conscious of how I spend my money. I'll go, oh no, I won't spend PHP200.00 for one lunch, that'll look horrible on my diary. WHICH IS AWESOME. I saved loads of money. I'll also be doing a shopping ban which I'll make a post about within the week.

How much do you usually spend in a week?

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